Exfoliating: Six Key Benefits, Six Gentle Options, One Radiant Complexion
We're Getting Rid of What No Longer Serves Us
As a natural, plant-based brand, we love to nurture and nourish our complexions with true sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and skin-loving elements.
At Qēt Botanicals, we participate in the EWG Verified program. I've personally been a follower of EWG since 2004, long before the Verified program was even launched. My thyroid swings, my Rosacea, and my autoimmune issues were the reason I reached out and jumped into the Skin Deep database in the first place. Our Testimonial page shares some heartfelt words from friends and customers, and our January blog shares my before and after photos during my journey.
We're serious and we're passionate about keeping our ingredients and treatments clean. We believe in sharing only what serves us in a positive way, and we love to dive further into ingredients to see what makes them work, and what we need to avoid.
This month, we're sharing the main reasons why we love our exfoliants, and why our skin loves to be exfoliated. Removing the dry and dead skin cells that sit on the surface our complexion is one of the most important steps of a healthy and effective skincare routine. It not only helps our botanicals serums and treatments penetrate the skin, it can also help clear the complexion. It naturally increases the circulation of blood under the surface ~ this helps us achieve healthy and glowing skin.
We'll also be sharing some news that we learned about a common ingredient found not only in some of our exfoliants and facial masks, but in many traditional personal care products out there, including facial masks, deodorants, and even toothpaste.
Below: Before and after of my skin with Rosacea, acne, and sensitivity.
The Big EEs
There are two things that begin with 'E' that affect our skin. Any guesses as to what they are?
As a woman, and even in a man's world, we have hormones that affect us. Our skin, our moods, our sleep patterns, and even our cycles all can be affected by hormones.
Many conventional products have ingredients that are derived from animals, or they're synthetic and can be hormone disruptors. Animals have their own hormones, and when brands include animal parts in products, the animal's hormones may be included as well. When we add more synthetic or real hormones to our system, our system and skin can become upset because of it.
There are two "Es" that affect our skin. The first 'E' is estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that not only decreases with time in the woman's body, but it also affects the physical appearance of our skin. When our estrogen is depleted, our pores become enlarged, our skin less taut, and the elasticity and collagen in our skin needs encouragement to keep generating new cells and remain healthy.
Our skin takes on a lot of responsibility. Being the largest organ on our body, it's very busy detoxifying, keeping us cool, protecting our organs, and it shows us when there is upset in the gut and digestive tract ~ eczema, psoriasis, and even acne and Rosacea can all be calmed or inflamed from eating and ingesting foods that trigger a change in our hormones... and eventually our skin.
There is one thing that we can do to not only give our skin a helpful nudge, but it also aids in the absorption and penetration of our facial treatments, allows the pores to escort out anything that may be clogging the pores, and it also increases circulation and stimulates our natural production of collagen.
What is this little skincare tip? It's the second 'E.'
Six Reasons Why Our Skin Benefits from Exfoliating
Have you ever seen a new leaf when it grows from a plant or a tree? How about feeling the softness of a baby's skin.
At the start, leaves are soft, pliable and fresh, and a child's skin is oh-so-soft! With time comes less cellular renewal. The cells in an infant's skin are naturally replaced several times a week. While the clock ticks, this turnover slows down and dead cells accumulate on the surface of the complexion. This can make the skin appear dull, tired, and it can even accentuate wrinkles.
Giving our skin a regular nudge with gentle botanicals and plant nutrients helps to combat this slow down of cellular turnover. Much more beneficial than just using a washcloth to exfoliate alone, the herbs, minerals, and antioxidants in our exfoliants all play a role in gentle cellular turnover. Our texture, tone, and touch factor (hello, softer skin!) can be improved with the right encouraging ingredients.
There are many benefits to a regular exfoliation routine, and here are six benefits our skin receives when we exfoliate:
- Pore Size ~ Exfoliating removes the dead and damaged cells that can be lodged into the pores which can make them appear larger than they are.
- Clear Skin ~ Blemishes and acne prone skin can become clearer as the bacteria and impurities that clog the pores are removed.
- Smoother Skin ~ Dry skin can appear smoother and feel softer as the dry patches and flakiness can be whisked away.
- Brighter Skin ~ Dead skin cells often contain pigmented and darkened skin. A regular exfoliation can help to lighten these spots over time.
- Less Fine Lines ~ Exfoliated skin appears smoother with less fine lines as those lines become less visible when the skin is soft, smooth, and natural light is reflected off of it.
- Nourished Skin ~ Hydration and moisture is blocked by dead cells and debris which prevents the treatments from penetrating the skin.
I can say with 100% confidence that properly and regularly exfoliating the skin is essential in maintaining smooth and nourished skin. I exfoliate nearly every evening; together with our plant-based cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments, I know that it has made a huge difference in my complexion. It really is an essential part of a healthy skincare routine. Synthetic or Authentic Chemicals ~ Is there a Safe Chemical for Skin?
How to Exfoliate Properly
We hear many friends and customers say that they've stopped exfoliating because (1) their skin is too sensitive to exfoliate, (2) they don't see the need for it, or (3), they're not sure how to do it and what to use.
Exfoliating on a regular basis is beneficial in so many ways. We're not talking about using a scrubbing brush which rotates hundreds of times, using shells, nuts, or having abrasive diamond particles pushed onto the surface of the skin. We're talking about using organic ground up herbs, botanicals, gluten-free oats, green matcha tea, and minerals and actives that not only gently slough-away the invisible dead skin cells but actually offer softening and skin-brightening benefits.
Here's a fast and effective way to gently exfoliate our face.
- Pour a small amount of herbal or clay exfoliant into the palm of the hand, or one of our mini wooden mask/exfoliant bowls.
- Add just enough water to make a paste.
- Using your fingertips, or our mask brush, gently massage onto the skin. Leave on for a minute or two, or even less, before rinsing away with clean water.
Which Exfoliant Is Best for My Complexion?
Clay or Herbal ... Which one is for me?
We prefer to keep our exfoliants dry. This way they're waiting for you to activate them. Keeping them dry is like putting them into a time capsule of phytonutrients and actives waiting for you to bring them to life. Just like seeping a tea bag in warm water and allowing the tea to open up, it's the same kind of experience with our dry exfoliants. They're waiting for you until you're ready to enjoy them.
Every Skin Suite has the option of two exfoliants.
Which exfoliant is right for your skin condition?
Clay Exfoliant ~ reach for the clay exfoliant in your Skin Suite if your skin has a tendency to become congested or the pores are clogged. The clay acts like a sponge and helps to pull congestion and impurities from the pores.
Herbal Exfoliant ~ a small amount of fine Himalayan salt powder not only feeds the skin with its pure and clean minerals while offering more of a surface exfoliation.
Our Balancing, Hydrating, and Restoring Skin Suites are formulated differently to address the needs of our sensitive and thirsty skin. You can mix and match throughout the seasons and as you see fit for your current complexion.
Each exfoliant contains gluten-free softening oats, organic matcha tea, ground organic botanicals such as thyme, lavender and rose depending on the Skin Suite.
Another important ingredient ~ each of our exfoliants contains organic sugar cane which is a form of natural glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is a type of AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acid that helps to break up the dead skill cells on the surface. This is a wonderful benefit for sensitive complexions and is completely free of synthetic acids often found in many other conventional exfoliants.
I personally exfoliate gently every evening before applying my night serum and boost, but if you're not familiar with it, start slowly ~ 1-3 times per week is great!
Below: This French little garden cherub that we admired in a beautiful Parisian garden hasn't been exfoliated in hundreds of years. A little exfoliating would take years off of her exterior, don't you think? :)
Dermatologist Used and Approved
"The ONLY exfoliant I use and recommend!!" - Dr. Apple Bodemer, Integrative Medicine Dermatologist — Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Are there Heavy Metals in your Skincare?
As part of our scrutinizing of ingredients and keeping our formulas safe and high performing, we recently sent some of our products into a third-party laboratory for heavy metal testing. What we found surprised us, and it may surprise you.
Unfortunately, the USA does not require the same limits and restrictions as other countries do. An example is Retinol ~ Canada and some European countries restrict its use in cosmetics because of harmful side effects, but the USA still allows it. Recently the use and restrictions of minerals and clays were reviewed and tested for safety. Read on.
Skincare ingredients such as rice starches, cornstarches, sea kelp, sea products, and clays do contain healthy minerals and vitamins, but they can also be too high in any particular ingredient to be considered safe.
We do not use charcoal in any of our masks or exfoliants because of the method of production and gases released into the environment, but also because it is either dead plant matter and/or animal parts that make up the charcoal. When burned at high temperatures it turns to carbon. We'd rather stick to clean clays, botanicals, and naturally exfoliating elements than add burned carbon and ash to our skin. And... we can't get the antioxidants and phytonutrients our skin loves from charcoal.
Since our launch, we decided to work with three well-known and clean clays. The clays that we used and the clays we submitted for testing were French Green Clay (Montmorillonite), Rhassoul Clay (Moroccan Lava Clay) and White Clay (Kaolin or Kaolinite).
We tested our clays for these metals:
There are safe and low levels of each of these metals allowed in various products. What we found is that the cleanest, purest clay that meets all the low levels of parts per million allowed in each treatment were our Rhassoul Clay, or Moroccan Lava Clay.
We've since then made the formulation changes and updated our labels and website; we now only use Rhassoul Clay. Many other brands use various clays without harm, and even though we used other clays in small amounts within the treatments previously, we felt the need to make the change to the cleaner clay.
We all have to sleep with ourselves. We sleep much better knowing that we're using and reviewing our safe ingredients ... and making changes when necessary.
Your August Special
An often neglected step, but a beloved one when it's re-introduced or made a part of our daily care practice, is a gentle exfoliation on the skin's surface.
Nothing harsh, no spinning plastic bristles, no shells, nuts, or artificial scrubbers ~ our exfoliants are blended with only gentle, skin-sloughing botanicals, herbs, oats, and minerals.
All through the month of August, SAVE 10% on all of our clay and herbal exfoliants. Stop into one of our Skin Studios or enter the code EXFOLIATEME while shopping online.
Our treatments that are part of our special this month are:
Balancing Clay Exfoliant with Tea & Thyme
Balancing Herbal Exfoliant with Tea & Thyme
Hydrating Clay Exfoliant with Tea & Lavender
Hydrating Herbal Exfoliant with Tea & Lavender
Restoring Clay Exfoliant with Tea & Rose
Restoring Herbal Exfoliant with Tea & Rose
Our days are busy, our time passes quickly... let's give ourselves permission to pause.
Taking a moment to stop and reflect each day not only gives us a chance to reconnect and recharge, but it gives us a moment to revel in the moment.
Each day, let's take that moment to pause ~ plan your meals, practice your self-care, and enjoy those that we care about.
Feel better. Live better.
Below: my husband and I captured while enjoying a few moments at the beach ~ and then taking a moment to pause.
~ fresh ~ natural ~ sumptuous ~
~ non-toxic, organic, proven, and high-performing ~
~ award-winning botanical treatments handmade in WI and CA ~